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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
DNA profile for cold case killer
Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce
Both women were sexually assaulted, battered and strangled
Detectives investigating two unsolved murders that took place in a Kent town 20 years ago think they now have a DNA profile of the killer.

Wendy Knell, 26, was found dead in a bedsit in Guildford Road, Tunbridge Wells, in June 1987.

Six months later Caroline Pierce, 20, of Grosvenor Park, was attacked outside her home. Her body was later discovered in a dyke on Romney Marsh.

Officers say advances in science led to the discovery of the DNA profile.

A reconstruction of the events surrounding the murders was featured on BBC One's Crimewatch on Monday.

It is twenty years since these two women were brutally attacked and murdered. We remain committed to finding Wendy and Caroline's killer
Det Ch Insp Anne Brittain
Both women, who had jobs in Camden Road, had been sexually assaulted, battered and strangled.

Police say there were no "clear signs" of forced entry to Ms Knell's flat in Guildford Road after the murder on 23 July 1987, but her key ring and diary were missing.

Officers also believe a footprint on a blouse at her home, that may have come from a rare Clarks' trainer, belongs to the killer.

A 19-year-old neighbour of Ms Knell was warned by a stranger not to leave their windows unlocked a few days before her murder. Police have issued an e-fit of the man.

Ms Pierce was wearing a long black skirt and red jumper when she was last seen in Grosvenor Park on 24 November 1987.

Her body was found by a farm worker 40 miles away in a field near St Mary in the Marsh on Romney Marsh on 15 December 1987.

Detectives say a set of Ms Pierce's keys was also taken.

Det Ch Insp Anne Brittain, who is now leading the investigation, said: "We believe that one person could be responsible for both these murders.

"Whoever killed these two young women had local knowledge and more than likely had connections with Tunbridge Wells and the Romney Marsh areas, they perhaps either lived, worked or socialised there."

She added: "It is highly likely that these two murders are linked. There are many similarities in the murders which happened just six months apart in the town.

"With the advancement in forensic science over the past 20 years, and the profile we now have, we would ask anyone who has any knowledge of these murders to come forward.

"With the new DNA profile we can eliminate or implicate anyone in connection with this inquiry.

"It is 20 years since these two women were brutally attacked and murdered. We remain committed to finding Wendy and Caroline's killer and bringing them before the courts."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Detectives investigating two murders think they now have a DNA profile of the killer



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